Oct 29, 2023
How To Perfect Barbie's Iconic Ponytail
When Margot Robbie stepped onto the pink carpet at the world premiere of "Barbie," she took our breath away as she channeled the iconic 1960 Barbie Solo in the Spotlight doll. While her outfit was
When Margot Robbie stepped onto the pink carpet at the world premiere of "Barbie," she took our breath away as she channeled the iconic 1960 Barbie Solo in the Spotlight doll. While her outfit was undeniably flawless (as all of Robbie's Barbie looks have been so far), her sleek ponytail played a crucial part in completing the look — and we're here to show you how to easily recreate it. After all, as nostalgia is having a huge moment with Barbiecore, recreating one of the doll's most recognizable hairstyles is the perfect way to explore the trend.
Before we start, let's talk about what you'll need. Depending on your hairstyling skills, ensure you have anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes. Apart from that, arm yourself with a blow dryer, a comb, a boar bristle brush, some hairstyling products, your preferred hair tie, and a hair curling tool. With those in your arsenal, you'll have a bouncy and voluminous ponytail that exudes grace and sophistication in no time.
Apart from being an iconic Barbie hairstyle, a ponytail like this is also ultra versatile, as it suits almost any occasion, whether it's a glamorous red carpet event or a laid-back casual day with friends. From the art of creating faux side-swept bangs to the TikTok hair-tie hack that adds that perfect swoop of volume, we'll leave no stone unturned as we unlock the secrets to crafting a perfect Barbie ponytail!
Barbie's iconic ponytail starts with a crucial decision: to rock the look with clean or slightly oily hair. Both options come with their own perks, so let's explore all of their pros and cons. Clean hair is the epitome of freshness and perfection — and obviously, Barbie's hair is exactly that. There's no dirt or residue — just pure, pristine locks. However, as you go on with your day, your hair might have a mind of its own, resulting in an occasional rebellious strand ruining your perfectly crafted look.
Alternatively, there's the daring choice of greasy hair — and no, we're not talking about a bucket of deep-fried chicken kind of greasy. Oil actually lends a helping hand in holding up that ponytail like a champ. "It's true that natural oils do make it easier to sculpt and shape the hair," hairstylist Mia Silverio reveals to Style Caster. "On the other hand, when hair is clean, it's often slippery to work with and usually requires more product in order to shape and create your desired style. If you're working with dirty hair, it holds better with heated styling tools such as a curling iron." So, if you're planning to strut your stuff for an extended period, the greasy option might just be your best ally!
Whether you're dealing with freshly washed hair or already dry tresses, this blow-drying technique will definitely take your ponytail from average to Barbie-like. If you've just washed your hair, flip your head upside down and grab that trusty blow dryer. With the blow dryer on a low to medium heat setting, begin blow-drying your hair in the same direction that it will eventually be in. This not only adds volume and body but also ensures your hair cooperates seamlessly with the upcoming ponytail styling.
If your hair is already dry, there's no need for an elaborate blow-drying session. Just flip your head upside down and use the blow dryer on a low heat setting for a couple of minutes to help the hair get used to the upright position. Needless to say, before you proceed with either of the blow-drying options, remember to use a heat-protectant spray!
Barbie's iconic ponytail deserves nothing less than the ideal hair tie partner, and we've got a roundup of the best contenders. For a ponytail that stays put from dawn to dusk and beyond, a no-slip elastic hair tie reigns supreme. Designed to cling to your hair, whether it's fine and silky or thick and curly, this type of hair tie is always a great choice.
However, if you hate the pesky dents left behind by traditional hair ties, the coil-style hair tie is your best bet. Gentle on your tresses, this spiral wonder ensures your hair retains its natural flow even after you take it out of the ponytail.
And for those who prioritize hair health, the silk or satin scrunchie is the ultimate choice. This luxurious option treats your hair like royalty, gliding smoothly without tugging or causing damage. With its ability to preserve your hair's natural oils, it's a dream come true for maintaining healthy locks. However, keep in mind that for a Barbie ponytail that's meant to be worn for more than just a couple of hours, the slip factor might not be as ideal — as this type of hair tie does tend to move around slightly.
If you want to channel Margot Robbie's stunning "Barbie" premiere look, your ponytail will need that iconic side-swept bangs moment. This step is, of course, entirely optional, but if you want to go through with it, make sure you separate your bangs or a section of hair at the front before you work on the ponytail.
Once your Barbie ponytail is securely tied up (we'll get to that process in a minute), grab your blow dryer and give this separate section some extra oomph! Blow-dry it up and away from your face, focusing on the roots to create that enviable volume. And now comes the fun part! You can leave it as is, flaunting that voluminous, side-swept piece with lots of bounce. Or, if you're feeling a bit fancier, twirl the ends of the separated hair and pin them into place on the side your bangs are swooping toward. If you are using a chunk of hair instead of bangs, simply twirl the end of the separated hair around the ponytail and secure it into place. Voila! You've mastered the art of faking bangs and are ready to dazzle like Margot Robbie herself.
Now that we've laid the groundwork, it's time to begin creating that snatched ponytail. Before you gather all of your hair, it's crucial to figure out just where the pony should sit. "Follow your cheekbone to give you the perfect position for your ponytail," Kim Kardashian's hairstylist Chris Appleton suggests to Glamour. This way, the ponytail will rest at the perfect position to give you a DIY facelift.
Once you've figured out the ponytail's ideal position, sweep all your locks upward with your hands, making sure to exclude any faux bangs or front pieces we separated earlier. Make sure the ponytail is snug but not too tight, as we want to be able to remove the hair tie with ease, since this isn't the final step to achieving that perfect Barbie hairstyle.
Now, in order to get that crisp Barbie ponytail, all the hair that's leading into it needs to be super shiny and sleek. To achieve this, take your favorite hair gel or smoothing serum and apply it generously all around your hair, leaving the ponytail untouched.
The hair gel or smoothing serum works its magic by taming any flyaways, frizz, or unruly strands, and since we're going for a sleek look, it's better to add too much rather than too little product. Don't worry too much about any hair bunching up close to the hair tie — we will deal with that in the next step.
Once you are satisfied with all the products you put on your hair, remove the hair tie while still keeping your hair gathered in the same position using your non-dominant hand. Yup — taking the hair tie off might seem silly, but it is this precise step that will end up resulting in the most sleek and perfect outcome.
Grab a trusty boar bristle brush, and gently brush through your hair, section by section. The natural bristles of the brush work wonders in distributing your hair's natural oils as well as the product you just added, promoting shine and smoothness with every stroke. As you brush, you'll notice your hair becoming sleeker and more refined, and any remaining frizz or flyaways will be gone entirely. Now, this is perhaps the most crucial part of the process, so take your time to ensure every strand falls into place perfectly.
Now that the base of your hair is perfectly smooth and set in position, you will tie the gathered hair into the final ponytail. However, if you want a bit of extra bounce and volume — you know, that perfect swoop at the base of the ponytail — consider using a viral and super-easy TikTok hack.
All you need to do is the following: Once you get to the last wrapping of the hair tie around your ponytail, section off the top half of it and leave it out. Having that lower half of the ponytail tied separately with that last wraparound will create tons of additional volume at the base of the ponytail.
At this point, your Barbie ponytail should look almost perfect, but just to be sure nothing is out of place, we recommend going in with a hairspray or anti-frizz spray. With a light spritz, focus on the areas where those rebellious strands tend to misbehave. Tame any flyaways with a gentle sweep of your hand (or use the boar bristle brush again, if necessary), and smooth them back into place, ensuring every inch of your ponytail is picture-perfect.
In fact, even if your ponytail already looks fabulous, adding a thin layer of a spray will help create a protective shield around your hair that will ward off any frizz and humidity-induced chaos that might occur a couple of hours down the road.
If you're craving even more volume and drama for your Barbie ponytail, a secret weapon that has been popular for decades is hair teasing. However, before we proceed, let's acknowledge that teasing, when done excessively or aggressively, can cause damage to your precious locks. But, when handled with the utmost care and done only on special occasions, your hair can generally handle a little teasing magic.
To give your Barbie ponytail that added height, take a fine-toothed comb and gently tease the hair at the base of your ponytail. Lightly backcomb the sections closest to the scalp, creating that subtle Barbie ponytail lift. "Depending on how hard you brush your hair, you can really start to smooth out that teasing and make it really small or really big," celebrity hairstylist David Lopez tells Byrdie. "The goal is to not see any of the teasing."
You can totally stop after adding that extra volume to the roots of the ponytail, but if you want to make it pop even more, consider bringing on the curls. To achieve Barbie's signature bounce and flipped-out style, grab your trusty curling iron and let the magic begin. First, apply a heat protectant, then take small sections of the ends of your ponytail and wrap them around the curling iron barrel. Hold for a few seconds, then release to reveal those perfect curls. Feel free to also curl your hair using a straightener or any other curling method (with or without heat) that suits your preference, making sure not to curl the entire length of your ponytail — you only want the ends to have a slightly curled shape. Once you're pleased, add a tad of hairspray to keep the curls in place.
Now, if your hair is already naturally curly, don't worry about this step — your curls are already bringing that vivacious energy to your ponytail, and there's no need to mess that up. What you can do is grab some of your favorite hair oil and gently distribute it throughout your ponytail to help define the curls even more and give them that shine they deserve.
To take your ponytail from amateur to professional, make sure you hide the hair tie with a section of your hair. To do this, use a half-inch section from the ponytail itself, best taken from the part closest to your neck. Once you wrap the section around the hair tie tightly, secure the end discreetly by pinning it with a bobby pin underneath the ponytail, at its base.
If your hair is on the shorter side, you might find that a single half-inch section isn't quite enough to cover the hair tie completely. In this case, don't fret! Simply use two separate sections, wrapping each one around the hair tie with the same precision until the tie is no longer visible. Remember, attention to detail like this is what sets a stunning Barbie hairstyle apart from a merely average one.
If you're blessed with luscious curls, you know that they can have a mind of their own. While your Barbie ponytail might look sleek and flawless when you leave home, the stubborn nature of curls means that in just a couple of hours, that beautiful texture could start peeking through. And you know what? That's perfectly fine! It can look absolutely cute and add an extra touch of pizzazz to your hair style.
However, if you're aiming to maintain that polished base throughout the day, it's a good idea to keep some styling products on hand. Curly hair can be a bit unpredictable, but with a little touch-up here and there, you can keep your Barbie ponytail looking top-notch. When you're out and about, consider carrying a boar bristle brush and a small bottle of gel or hairspray with you. A few gentle strokes of the brush can help smooth out any unruly curls at the base, keeping that sleek appearance intact. And a dab of gel or hairspray can be your secret weapon to tame any frizz or flyaways that may have reared their heads.
Listen, there are Barbies with all sorts of hair lengths, which is why you should by no means feel discouraged rocking your natural length. However, there is also no harm in adding a touch of Barbie-like volume and length every now and then. If you happen to have hair extensions lying around, why not use them to take your Barbie ponytail to the next level?
Once your Barbie ponytail is perfectly styled, but before wrapping a section of hair to hide the hair tie, it's time to add those clip-in hair extensions. Clip the extensions as close to the root of your ponytail as possible, and if you can, even clip them onto the hair tie itself. This clever trick ensures flawless integration, making your extensions appear as a natural part of your fabulous ponytail. With the extensions securely in place, wrap a section of your hair around the base of your ponytail, as we explained earlier. This final touch effortlessly hides any evidence of the extensions, leaving you with a polished, captivating, and super-long Barbie ponytail. Iconic!